THE SUPPLY COMPANY
In the writing of this account an outline only of the important events has been attempted with the hope that it may serve to call to mind the many interesting details, which form so important a part of the history of this organization. To all members of the Company who by their earnest assistance and co-operation have made this work possible, the Historian is deeply indebted.
GEORGE G. PAINTER
Supply Co., 314th ¡nf.
March 19, 1919
THE PERIOD OF ORGANIZATION.
The official birth of the Supply Company,
314th Infantry, took place on October 4th, 1917,
in Barracks E-37, Camp Meade, Md. At this time
Capt. R. B. Caidwell, 1st Lieut. George N. Randolph, 2nd Lieut. H. G. Martin and 2nd Lieut.
Homer D. Wright were attached to the company
for duty and 62 recruits from 154 Depot Brigade
were definitely assigned to the company by a
regimental order. During this era of regimental
development recruits were being assigned as far
as possible, according to the military needs of
their civilian training, with the result that there
were so large a number of transfers each day that
any attempt at permanent company organization
was a practical impossibility.
In the selection of the personnel of the Sup
ply Company, great care was exercised to assign
men whose special qualifications fitted them for
one of the various requirements of the company
activities; and consequently this .sorting out,.
which was to lead to a permanent organization,
required much more time than that of a rifle
At the organization of the regiment Captain
John C. Weinmann had been appointed Supply
Officer. Under his direction the Supply Office was
opened, the storehouse constructed, and plans
formulated for equipping the hundreds of recruits as speedily as possible. How efficiently
these plans were consummated is seen in the fact
that even the earliest recruits who found filled
bedsacks and blankets on their cots when they
arrived, were completely clothed within three
days. Due to the crude conditions of transportation
the task was no small one, but winter was
coming on and the comfort of the men was given
every consideration. Early in November, Sgts.
Tutor, Hagen and Kennedy, regulars with some
years of army experience, were appointed Regimental Supply Sergeants. These men under the
leadership of Capt. Weinmann made up the first
Supply Staff of the Regiment, constituting an intermediary, so to speak, between the Quarter
master and the companies. Thus, with the establishment of what we shall hereafter call the Sup
ply Office, as separate from the company, with its
staff, this department was fully organized and
working systematically by November 15th.
Meanwhile stables had been completed, experienced drivers found and assigned to the company and everything put in readiness for the first
contingent of animals.24 husky mules, which
were assigned to the Regiment from the Re
mount Depot on November 2nd. First class
Private Morris Moody was put in charge of the
stables as Stable Sergeant and a blacksmith shop
put into operation with horseshoers Snooks and
Kraft in charge. Upon the arrival of the first
assignment of American escort wagons with harness, facilities were complete for the hauling and
distribution of commissary, coal and other property.
On November 15th, Capt. Caidwell was transferred to Regimental Headquarters and it was
then that Capt. Weinmann, the Regimental Sup
ply Officer, assumed command of the company.
Sgt. Frederick Ettelson was appointed First Sergeant, Sgt. Valentine was put in charge of the
kitchen as Mess Sergeant and Corp. Wm. Ressler
looked after supplies for the outfit. The company
was now moved to Barracks F-39, where it remained during its stay at Camp Meade.
Thus in less than 45 days the personnel of
the company, which required careful consideration, was selected, animals and vehicles assigned
to the Regiment and housed in well-kept stables
and sheds, the Supply Office and storehouse constructed and functioning in good order; in short
the Supply Company with its several departments
was completely organized and ready to play its
difficult role in the history of the Regiment.
THE PERIOD OF DOMESTIC TRAINING.
The winter of 1917-18 was one of unusual
severity but with the coming each month of large
contingents of recruits, the Division was being
filled up to war strength, and throughout the cold
season the training went on in as intensive a manner as possible. The task of obtaining and delivering to the Regiment the supplies which the
extremely cold weather demanded was by no means
easy. Every Department of Supply was accordingly put on a basis of high efficiency in order to
meet these requirements.
The Supply Office was a busy place these
days. The whole Regiment was equipped with
wool clothing to replace khaki, which had been
issued to the men as recruits, the storeroom now
being so organized that a soldier would enter one
end in kahki and emerge from the other in wool.
Heavy quilts were distributed to help combat the
cold winds and open windows in the barracks at
night. Due to the numerous transfers to and
from the Regiment much transient property had
to be traced and accounted for, and finally the
keeping of a set of books, as prescribed by the
Quartermaster Department, required a careful
and very exacting quality of work. The records
of property accountability were inaugurated and
supervised by 1st Class Private Chas. H. Yost.
The complete reliability of this branch of the office was amply attested by the commendations of
the periodically appointed auditors.
The Subsistance Department of the Regiment quite naturally had its full share of importance and responsibility. Beef and bread were de
livered from the Quartermaster to companies
daily, and once every ten days other rations were
drawn, according to the company requisitions.
The administrative work of this branch, including the rations savings system, was ably con
ducted by 1st Class Private R. V. Strouss, who
had 1st Class Privates Swartz and Horwitz as coworkers. How satisfactorily this work was carried on is probably best shown by the fact that
each of these three men later became non-commissioned
officers of the company.
The fuel supply presented a serious problem
in this particular year. The large stoves of the
barracks were kept roaring most of the time in
order to keep things comfortable.a situation
which required an inestimably large amount of
coal. In one month over 270,000 pounds of coal
were burned in the Regiment alone. The great
ness of the demand and the limited sources of
supply required sound judgment in the obtaining
and distributing of all fuel. Despite this condition only on one occasion throughout the winter,
when roads were almost impassable, was the
Regiment without coal, and then for a short time
These three branches of supply made heavy
demands upon transportation facilities and it was
only through the splendid management of the
stables that these demands were satisfactorily
met. Too much credit cannot be given to the
wagoners and stablemen, who worked energetically from early morning until evening and who
by their endeavors established a standard of animal workmanship for the entire Division. Every
man in the company had his daily job during this
period of training, and to use the words of a company officer, .They did it with interest and enthusiasm..
The general good health of the company during this time of frequent epidemics deserves mention here. Only once was the company under
quarantine, and its sick report was, comparatively
speaking, smaller than that of any other company in the Regiment. Both officers and men are
proud of this record for it clearly demonstrated
that their efforts to keep the company free from
disease were not in vain.
Another accomplishment of particular pride
to the men of the company was the construction
of the log cabin in the rear of the officers. quarters. This building, which served as a club for the
officers of the Regiment, was the scene of many
delightful social events during the winter and
spring. The logs for the cabin were cut from a
nearby woods and the stones for the fireplace,
which was a special feature of the interior, were
hauled from a quarry some ten miles from the
camp. At the personal request of Colonel Darrah,
who was then the commanding officer of the
Regiment, Mechanic John E. Rowe had complete
supervision of the work, which was done entirely
by men of the Supply Company. The 314th Log
Cabin came to be one of the attractive sights for
Camp Meade's many visitors.
During these months there had been several
changes in the personnel of the company officers.
On February 15 beside Capt. John C. Weinmann,
the company commander, First Lieut. Thos. E.
Stilwell and James E. Atherton and Second Lieut.
Thos. H. Craig were on duty with the company.
Three men from the company.First Sgt. Ettel
son, Regimental Supply Sergeant Tudor and Corp.
Wm. Ressler.who were destined to receive com
missions, had been chosen to attend the Officers
Training School, which opened at Camp Meade in
January. Sgt. Milton B. Swartz was appointed
First Sergeant, Sgt. Krajeski was made Supply
Sergeant for the Company and first class Privates
Strouss and Yost were appointed Supply Sergeants for the office.
Early in March, Corp. Robert J. Allen was
transferred to the Enlisted Ordnance Corps and
assigned to duty with the company to form the
Ordnance Detachment of the Regiment. The
personnel of the detachment was selected from
men having primary knowledge of arms and munitions. In April, Corp. Allen was promoted to
the rank of Ordnance Sergeant, with the appointment of Mech. Russel Raker to be Ordnance Corporal and the assignment of six enlisted men, the
organization of the detachment was completed.
The quality of service rendered by these men was
always most demonstrative of their energy and
With the coming spring, as the training of
the rifle companies took on an intensive form, so
that of the Supply Company was no less strenuous. Kahki was again issued to replace the winter
wool. The large contingents of recruits, which
came each month, were speedily equipped. In
passing through the storehouse each rookie was
changed as to appearance from civilians to soldier. The floor of clay, which was laid in the
stables, was one of the many improvements which
the warmer weather made possible. By steady
and intelligent care the animals and stable equipment of the company were put into first class condition.
At the spring inspection the report of
the inspector gave first place in the general excellence of animal transportation to the 314th
Infantry. The splendid condition in which the
animals were kept was always a source of pride to
the company commander as well as to other members of the company.
On April 4th came the ever famous Baltimore hike.
The Regimental wagon train, under
the command of Capt. Weinmann, left Camp
Meade at 7:45 a. m. and arrived at Shipley, Md.,
a distance of 12 3-10 miles, at 1:30 p. m. The
Regiment camped at this point for the night.
Starting at 7:05 the following morning the train
reached Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, at 10:20 a.m.,
a distance of 7 5-10 miles. On the 6th the
trains paraded with the division and was reviewed by President Wilson. The Regiment left the
Druid Hill Camp at 8 on the morning of the 8th
and making the full distance of 21 5-10 miles in
one day, arrived at Block E, Camp Meade, at 3:35
p. m. This was the first long trip which the train
had made, but the careful training of the company as demonstrated by this trip foreshadowed
its efficiency in the many long and tedious trips, it
was destined to make on the other side.
Toward the end of April, Lieut. Thos. H.
Stilwell was promoted to the rank of Captain and
selected to act as the first personnel officer of the
Regiment. Capt. Stilwell was an important figure in the organization and development of the
company. Other changes in the company were
the appointment of Supply Sgt. Chas. H. Yost to
be Regimental Supply Sergeant and 1st Class
Private Albert J. Kramers to be Corporal and
Company Clerk. Sgt. Krajeski was called to the
personnel office to become Regimental Sergeant
During May the personnel of the company
was filled up to the required strength and those
men whose qualifications did not fit them for the
work of the company were transferred elsewhere.
In all the training maneuvers, hikes, and so forth,
the Supply Company took part, escort wagons
and drivers accompanying the respective companies. When the Regiment was encamped at the
Rifle Range a detachment of the company was on
duty there, supplying the companies daily with
rations and water.
The orders to requisition and issue overseas
equipment, which came toward the close of May,
found each member of the company ready to do
his share in their execution. To complete the
task within the required time the company worked night and day for several weeks. With preparations for overseas service going on in earnest
there was much to be done by the company.
The heavy baggage of the Regiment, including
all vehicles, had to be packed, marked and shipped, records of property completed, and all the
incidentals, which the big movement entailed attended to.
No member of the Supply Company will for
get those last days at Camp Meade. There was
a great deal of hard work to be sure, but the co
operation and interest, which had always characterized the work of the company, was present
then; and on July 4th, with the big task completed, the Supply Company celebrated with a royal
feast served in the old mess hail, under the supervision of Mess Sergeant James Donnel. Two
days later, on the afternoon of July 6, at 3:35 the
company stood at attention before the old barracks for the last time and responding to the
command, "Forward Ho!" marched off from the
scenes of their training to the fields of reality
which lay before them.
The Supply Company sailed with the Regiment on the transport Leviathan from the port of
Hoboken on July 8th.
THE PERIOD OF FOREIGN TRAINING.
Arriving at the harbor of Brest, France, on
July 15th, at 4:10 p. m., the Supply Company de-
barked about 10 o.clock that night and at once
marched four and a half miles to Camp Pontazan,
where the Regiment encamped in pup tents. On
July 18th, the company took part in the Regimental parade at Brest.the only event of particular interest during those three rainy days.
On the following morning, July 19th, the Regiment
entrained and after a trip of three days arrived at Laignes at 1:30 a. m., July 22nd. After
living three days on travel rations Mess Sergeant
Donnel.s bacon and hot coffee at breakfast next
morning was a genuine feast.
The company left Laignes at 7:30 a. m., hiking to Ampilley le Sec, a distance of 12 miles. It
is a rather significant fact that on the several long
marches made by the Regiment at this time not
a single member of the company dropped out. At
Ampilly le Sec the company went into their first
official billets, but they were not destined to re
main long for on the evening of July 24th the
entire Regiment was removed by motor truck
transportation to the tenth training area. Arriving at Frettes the following morning the company was established in billets. Within a few
days horses and vehicles were drawn for the
Regiment and turned over to the company for
At Brest the various battalions had been separated. To each a Supply Officer and Supply
Sergeant from the company were assigned. To
the 1st Batallion Lieut. Atherton and Sgt. Kennedy
were assigned, to the second Lieut. Schwenk
and Sgt. Weinberg and to the third Lieut. Craig
and Sgt. Conevery. When the transportation was
distributed nine wagoners, a clerk and a corporal
were sent to each batallion as a detachment. Under
this organization all rations and property for
the respective battalions were drawn from the
headquarters of the company by the Battalion
Supply Sergeants, who in turn made the issues
to the companies. An escort wagon, a rolling
kitchen and a water cart were issued to each
company. Rations and property were transported by truck to the Supply Company, which was
stationed at Argillieres.
As the Regiment had been completely equipped before leaving Camp Meade, very little Quartermaster property was issued during this six
weeks. period of training. Gas-masks and helmets were issued, and all signal, ordnance and
engineering property was into condition for active service. All property in excess to the amount
allowed for active duty was turned in for salvage
and storage to the Supply Office.
Particular attention was given to the care of
the animals that they, too, might be fit for service when the call came. Under the supervision
of Sergeants Kraft and Moody the animal trans
port facilities were gradually improved from the
somewhat rundown condition in which they had
been received to a point of general reliability. In
all the field maneuvers, which were executed in
the course of the training, the company played
its part by sending up food by escort wagons
from the rolling kitchens. The greatest contribution to the work of the company during these
last six weeks of training was the horsemanship
acquired by the company wagoners. This phase of
their training was destined to be of great service
in the days to come.
Both field and reserve rations were issued
here for the first time to the companies by the
The order to move forward eventually came
and on September 8th, the entire wagon train
loaded with the property of the Regiment moved
from Argillieres in the rear of the troops to the
entraining point, Montenson. There vehicles were
roped on the fiat cars and the animals put aboard,
eight to a car. The train, bearing animals, vehicles and the company left Montenson at 6 p. m.,
on September 8th.
During this period the company was separated into battalion detachments, and had been
organized for active service, with the consequences that its activities were divided. An
account of the work of each detachment will not
be attempted, for since from this point the his
tory becomes principally an analysis of movements, the story of the company will include all.
THE PERIOD OF ACTIVE SERVICE.
On the morning of September 9th, the Regiment detrained at Mussey. After breakfast had
been served from the rolling kitchens the troops,
followed by their respective trains, marched in
the general direction of Bar-le-Duc. The Supply
Company made their headquarters at Fains.
In the Regimental equipment there still remained some articles of property which had to be
stored. This property, along with whatever personal effects could not be carried forward, were
brought in from the battalions and stored away
in a common storehouse at Fains. Replenishments of field and reserve rations were made and
all adjustments made in the matter of supplies
for active field service.
The complete regimental wagon train, led by
Capt. Weinmann, left Fains at 4 p. m., September
13th, on its first long trip. After travelling two
and a half days the trains reached Recicourt, to
which point the Regiment had been transported
by trucks. Under the direction of Sgt. Strouss
the daily rations were already distributed and
awaiting the arrival of the kitchens. The train
was separated here and sent into the surrounding
woods where the battalions were stationed. The
sound of nearby guns and several air raids made
the two days stay in the vicinity of Recicourt
memorable, it being the Regiment.s first contact
with actual warfare. From Recicourt the company moved to Bois Pommiers and thence to
Forest de Hesse on Sept. 21st. All moves were
now made under cover of darkness and strict
discipline enforced to prevent any information
being given to the enemy.
During the next four days the train was
given a final organization for its first trip .Up..
On the night of Sept. 25th the company and
Regimental train, consisting of rolling kitchens,
escort wagons and water carts, with Capt. Weinmann, who rose from a sick bed to lead his company, at its head.
At 12 o'clock the train halted on Hill 281,
just north of Dombasle, and took a position awaiting further orders. Following in the path of the
advancing troops the train continued its journey
for two days along sunken and heavily shelled
roads. In many places halts were made until the
engineers could make the way in any sense possible. The nerves and energies of both men and
animals were taxed to their utmost in order to get
food to the Regiment with the least possible de
Passing through Malancourt on Sept. 27th,
the train halted toward night in an open field in
the rear of Bois de Malancourt, west of Montfaucon. The last lap of the trip had been made amid
heavy shelling, but there were no losses in the
train until early the following morning when a
giant shell exploding on one side of the field killed..
Mess Sergeant Vaux of Co. .F. and two horses.
Wagoners Wetherill and King, of Supply Company, were badly wounded by the same shell.
At the break of day fires were built in the
kitchens and preparations made under the direction of Capt. Weinmann for serving breakfast to
the Regiment. The troops found hot coffee, rice
and bacon ready for them when they reached this
point about 8:30. Daily and reserve rations were
once more issued before the Regiment went back
to the front lines. Toward mid-day, during a
lapse in the shelling, the train was removed to a
point a kilometer to the rear, seemingly better
suited for parking the animals and wagons.
Each night a cooked meal was sent up to the
lines in a train of escort wagons under the command of an officer of the company and on several
occasions rolling kitchens were taken forward.
These expeditions were frequently under heavy
shell fire, and although there were no men of the
company killed, Wagoners Strasser, Bieber, Row
land and Stone were severely wounded. Every
now and then a shell dropped into some portion
of the train, resulting in the loss each day of
many horses. Words of description cannot do
justice to the conditions adverse to transportation which had to be overcome at this time.
With Malancourt, Montfaueon and Nantillon
secured, entailing an advance of about 11 kilo
meters, the Division was relieved on Oct. 1st.
The train pulled out onto the road that night and
served a hot meal to a large portion of the Regiment
which passed back along the road. Due to
the condition of the road, crowded with ambulances
and trucks filled with wounded, it was impossible for the train to move all during that night.
On the following day, with a victorious sun shining above them, the Regiment with its train moved back over the recovered ground to its starting point, the Forest de Hesse. There the troops
found supper awaiting them prepared by those
of the Supply Company, who had been left behind
to guard property, and the band. Few men of the
3 14th will forget that meal.
The summary of losses in the company during the Argonne offensive was six men wounded
and 57 animals killed.
The wagon train following the Regiment left
the Forest de Hesse the night of October 4th and
after traveling two nights and a day, the train
arrived at Rupt St. Mihiel on October 6th. The
company was quartered in a small woods just
south of Rupt, the battalions being located in
The Regiment remained in Rupt for five
days, leaving at midnight on October 11th. On
the three day journey to Ambly the Regiment
halted each day for rest and resumed the march
at night, the usual programme for long trips in
the forward area. At this time the Division was
in reserve on the Troyon-Meuse sector. The Regiment with headquarters at Ambly was scattered
about in the surrounding villages, ready to move
forward should the call come.
The Supply Office was set up in Ambly and
arrangements completed for re-equipping the en
tire Regiment. Wornout and battle scarred clothing was replaced with new garments and two
suits of winter underwear were issued to each
man. Ordnance property was repaired and re
placements made. Generally speaking the Regiment was again equipped for active field service.
This process of equipping required about two
weeks of strenuous effort on the part of the respective Supply Officers and Sergeants, but the
work was well done considering the facilities at
hand. During the stay at Ambly the company
received 13 men as replacements and additional
animals were drawn to fill up the gaps made in
the Argonne offensive.
When the train left Ambly on October 25th
it was in good condition to make the several long
journeys which lay ahead of it. The Regiment
remained at Sommedieu for two days, leaving for
the front again at 9 p. m. on October 27th. Day
stops were made at Lempire, Lombut and Bois
de Forges. These journeys made in darkest night
were attended with all misfortunes and obstacles
known to wagon train transportation, among
them being almost impassable roads, unusually
steep hills, broken wagon parts, and exhausted
horses; but the energy and skill of the drivers
surmounted them all and the trip was at length
The Regiment went into the front lines on
the night of October 31st, taking its position in
the division sector east of the Meuse. The train
moved from Bois de Forges to Samogneux, a location previously selected by Capt. Weinmann as
being naturally suitable for the operation of the
On the day following an organization and
schedule were effected for transporting cooked
meals from the company rolling kitchens to the
troops. Lieut. Atherton led the train of escort
wagons up Death Valley that night to a previously agreed upon point, where the ration details met
them. With the wagons half emptied the point
was intensely shelled for fifteen minutes. Wagoners
Mays and Hackett were killed and Wagoners
Conklin and Hamilton severely wounded.
Corporal Russel Raker of the Ordnance Detachment,
one of the pioneer members of the company, who with Sgt. Allen was establishing an
ammunition dump, made the supreme sacrifice at
this time. With dead horses blocking up the
road, already spotted with shell holes it was only
through great presence of mind on the part of
Lieut. Atherton and Corp. Tremaine that the remainder
of the train was conducted from this
area in safety.
Each night thereafter the cooked meals
were taken to the front and although the train
was under shell fire on several occasions there
were no further losses. Warm leather jerkins,
solidified alcohol and stoves were sent up to make
life in the front lines a bit more comfortable.
Many shells fell each day in close proximity to
the area where the train was parked, but fortunately
resulted in no casualties.
With the troops advancing the train moved
on Nov. 9th from Sarnogneux to Armont Farm.
From this point the road to the front lines, be
cause of heavy shellling, was impassable to escort wagons, so that most of the rations had to
be carried by hand for several kilometers. This
work fell to the available men of the company and
the cooks of the rifle companies serving with the
train. Under the guidance of the company officer, they bore their loads to the most advanced
points. The offensive being in full progress it
was necessary to send up food both night and day.
Acts of bravery on the part of both officers and
men of the company were too numerous these
days to be recounted in this brief outline.
On Monday morning, November 11th, Capt.
Weinmann gathered the members of the company about him and read the order telling of the
signing of the armistice and the cessation of
hostilities. The effect, as everywhere, was the
relaxation of nerves, which for days had been
racked by strenuous and perilous exertion. The rolling kitches were
sent up to the companies that day and on the morning following that
memorable night of flares and quiet exaltation, the whole train moved
up through Crepion to the battle scarred town of Chaumont.
The story of the company ends here. We have seen the
company organize for action, prepare for action, and participate in
action; whatever takes place thereafter can be of little consequence to
the essentials of its history.
In conclusion there remains just a word to be said. Throughout
all the trials and tribulations, the success and failures in the work
of the company there had always been a certain indomitable spirit, which
had united the members of the company in the ponds of earnest co-operation
and genuine comradeship. Much of this spirit was due to the leadership
of the company officers, Capt. Weimann, Lieut. Atherton, Lieut.
Schwenk, and Lieut. Craig; always considerate of their men, they were held
in respect and esteem by the members of their command. It was not the
privilege of the company to do actual fighting in the front lines, and,
perhaps much of its glory will go forever unheralded. But every
man will take home with him as his paramount rememberance that feeling
of self-satisfaction which comes only from duty well done.